Boots's Reviews > Batman: No Man's Land, Vol. 4

Batman by Greg Rucka
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bookshelves: batman, graphic-novels

It's a shame this could not have held together better, but the finale does try to give it some shape and purpose (albeit a bit weak on some fronts). We begin with Nightwing infiltrating (sort of) Blackgate where Lock-up has half the city’s criminals (placed there by Batman). Immediately Scarecrow, Ventriloquist, Mad Hatter, and Black Mask start plotting with Nightwing to escape. Fun story, but badly drawn. Then there’s a lengthy digression about Catwoman stealing some data in New York at Batman’s behest (flip flip flip). And then a story about Robin and the return of Ratcatcher and Mr. Freeze (with a dose of that lame Spoiler who I thought we’d lost many many pages ago). The Catwoman stuff is boring (disappointing especially for something from Ostrander), while the Robin stuff was mildly entertaining, though kind of pointless in the end (how did he get back in the city after he was lifted out?).

Things get interesting again with the return of Bane and a really great story about Leslie Thompkins, Zsasz, Killer Croc, and Huntress. Then there’s another nosedive with Low Road to Golden Mountain, a story arc that just sucks up space and does absolutely nothing. Joker returns in The Code and Endgame as the gang wars hurtle toward their inevitable climactic showdown.

About half of this volume is stuff I didn't care about and could have done without (and really, now we fill in where Bruce went when he disappeared after the quake? Who cares at this point?). But the other half was great, with the high point being (as many others have mentioned) the reconciliation between Gordon and Batman (and the tragedy that ensues). I dislike the "easy fix" of LexCorp coming in to clean everything up (how convenient), and I am on the fence about Joker's apprehension. On the one hand, I love how bizarrely insane it is, but on the other I just don't get why he did it. To say "because he's crazy" isn't enough. Was it just easier for the writers? Did they just need to wrap it up? Or did he just want to see the look on Gordon's face? It's a strange moment ~ but I guess it works.

I'd've given this four stars but for the fact that so much of it is just pointless filler.

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